Sunday, May 9, 2010

Those Naughty Nineties....

 Those Naughty Nineties....

Lennie Lower

A male colleague of mine had been grubbing about in his glory-box for the opener,
 And he came across an old, old copy of the 'Girls’ own Paper'
And came back to the office twittering and smelling strongly of lavender and old postcards.

I said to him, 'back to the mothercraft section, mug!'

 and went on with my work, which consists of sorting out the letters that letter-sorter brings me.

He hung about for a while, simpering, and then,
 touching me gently on the head, said:

 'What would you do if a man you had only been introduced to three or four times came and took your arm in the street?'

'Smash him on the nose,' I replied.

'Well, that’s funny,' he mused.

'It says here that you’ve got to become engaged to him.'

'Otherwise,' he added, morosely, 'you are doomed to a life of shame.'

'What’s a life of shame?' I asked becoming interested.

'Oh, just drink and folly and high life and being a sort of butterfly, and you finish up a sodden wreck in the gutter.'

'Sounds fair enough to me,' I said. 'What's the name of this chap who grabs you by the arm?'
'It's only for women,' he said sadly. 'Do you think we ought to let them in on it?'
'It's a woman's paper,' I replied sternly. 'Don’t keep anything back from 'em. They’ll find out, anyhow.'

So here it is from 'Girls own Paper' of 1890...

When my mate bought when he was a little girl in short trousers.

Here are some of the actual 'Answers to Correspondents'...


Seems to be in a bad way... according to her own account.

She is 'dreadfully in love' with a strange young man, and when she sees him suddenly she 'trembles from head to foot and can scarcely breathe.'

Her mother does not approve of him, as she has heard

'He makes periodical visits to Paris.'

She wants us to tell her how she may introduce herself to him!

Angelica is a most unbecoming name for one exhibiting such dangerous passions and total disregard for her mothers wishes.

She may be sure that if she makes herself known to a young man who is apparently very fond of sowing his wild oats in foreign cities, he will consider her as just another of 'those' women.

Perish the thought before evil comes of it


You may ask a gentleman with whom you have played before
 to join you in a game of tennis,
But you must be careful who you invite to do so,
as you would thus place yourself under more or less obligation to him.


You are too wilful, it does not do your good feeling, nor sense, any credit to say, 'I will do anything however hard, to have my own way'

 You should have said 'to please my parents!'

Conform yourself in every possible way to their rules and their hours.
 They appear to feed you well, and to feel solicitous about your health.
If you want anything between meals, ask your mother whether you may have a cup of milk or a biscuit, or a piece of bread and butter.
 Take what you are given and be thankful.


We think, ‘Must take up her Cross’ and remain in her present difficult position, but without any quarrelling, as she must strive to live peacefully in her home.
 Keep silent when provoked and always give kind or at least gentle and respectful replies, instead of angry ones to your father.


Should be guided by the advice of their father.

He probably knows more about the character of a young man than they do.


To keep away evil thoughts, first ask help from the holy spirit,
 take up a book and read; or repeat a hymn, or converse with someone or write a letter and avoid reading horrible stories in the newspapers.


You are quite right in helping your boy pupils to spin their tops and to join in any play that is not rough and boisterous.


No man should be so familiar as to take a girls arm in the street, nor

anywhere else, unless engaged to her…


You ought to be ashamed to yourself. To receive clandestine love letters, when you owe filial confidence to your mother, and submission to her will and judgement, is most ungrateful as well as undutiful....

 But to take in letters form two men continually,
through the blinds of your bedroom window,
 encouraging both at the same time,
is simply disgusting.

'How shall I squash them?'
Is a heartless question after so much encouragement.

It would be well if your mother were informed of your unseemly conduct
 and would effectually 'squash' you.


Today... it is all so different…

The righteous voice that murmured ‘Do not trust him, gentle maiden,’

 Now grits a harsher accent in our ear,

‘Don’t let him get away with that rough stuff, sister.’

Just as a sample of our twentieth century sophistication we append the lines from an enquiring heart.

Mine is the old story of the girl in love with a married man.
When I first met him I had many boyfriends.
I have given them all up for him, as he is extremely jealous and says that if he can’t have me no one else shall.

We have gone to many places together.
Every holiday finds us at many distant towns, summer resorts, etc.
He is wonderful to his wife and child, but says that his responsibility ceases after he provides for them.
But he never speaks of getting a divorce from his wife.

The question is.
What is the proper thing for me to do?
 Is it better for me to sacrifice my happiness for his wife and baby?


July 15, 1933

The above is another excerpt from a regular humour column
that appeared in a magazine called
"The Auatralian Womans Weekly"
which first appeared on June 10th 1933...
"Its star attraction was L. W. Lower Australia's
leading humourist at the time.

Through the depression and the war years
Lennie Lower kept them laughing...
With, his outrageous columns on anything from revising
an encyclopaedia while eating a stolen orange to
household manners, fashion and ettiquette"

From the book 'Humour in the Weekly' by CurreyO'Neil.


  1. Is "glory-box" a euphemism?

  2. I'm up for game of tennis with the ladies. I've got my rack and balls all ready for action!

  3. 'He makes periodical visits to Paris.'. That would be hrrible and undignified indeed. One cannot in good health allow ones son or daughter run with a boy who visits that skanky disease ridden whore...

  4. Winifred may have started with spinning tops on the playground but I bet she evolved into a dominatrix by the age of 18.

  5. Dear MJ,
    I guess so, sometimes referred to as a hope chest..

    Dear Eros,
    What a Racket! you do realise that this type of unseemly behaviour may well create unnecessary advances...

    Dear Pete,
    Parisian Hoors. Who would have thought?

    Dear Hayward

    I believe that poor Winifred aspired to a life of party's, cocktail consumption, social climbing, (using her well honed and extensive top spinning skills)
    and eventually ended up a sodden wreck in the gutter. Poor thing.

  6. I'm sorry, but that's a really wonderful picture of Fred Astaire and after I saw that.... everything stopped.

    **lifts picture to personal files*


  7. You are very welcome Boxer

    Glad to be of service...

    It is a great shot...

  8. Glory box of assorted creams. Winnie has been over accomodating a number of gentlemen behind the bus depot and now has a fanny like a bill poster's bucket. The brazen hussey.